Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sock Summit Summary

The Kiwi teachers had lots of fun with our Sock Summit. Kendra is demonstating sock needles I think. Lynn is all about gauge and I am practicing my stretchy cast-ons. Bridgid is taking the pictures when she is not showing the 2-at-a-time cast-on. Later in the week we did Toes and Heels. Sorry, I did not get pictures of Holly and Desi.

Here are a couple of tips for you:

Stretchy cast ons for cuff down socks:

1. Cast on twice the number of stitches you need for the cuff. Work the first round by working two stitches together all the way around. Do this in pattern. For example if the cuff is a 1/1 rib then knit 2 together, purl 2 together to the end of the round.
2. Try the slip knot cast on from Janel Laidman's sock books - an easy cast-on and it works very well.

To work two socks at a time on two circular needles and you cannot remember the cast-on for this: Cast-on one sock and work 5-6 rows. Then thread this onto some waste yarn. Cast-on the second sock and work to the same number of rows. Now put the first sock back on the needles so they are side by side with half of each sock on one needle and half of each on the second needle.

Garter stitch toe: This a great toe for socks. It is from Cat Bordhi's New Pathways sock book. It is well worth learning Judy's Magic Cast On but if you just want a quick way to use this toe without using Judy's cast-on,do a garter stitch square starting with a provisional cast on. Cast on a quarter of the stitches required for the foot of the sock. Knit until you have the same number of garter stitch ridges as you have cast on stitches. The pick up that number one side of the garter stitch square, remove the provisional cast on and knit across those stitches and pick up the other side of the square - toe is done and you are ready to knit the sock foot.

Sock Book Recommendations

This is a great book for beginning sock knitters according to Lynn. It includes all the basic constructions - toe-up, cuff down, basic heels and toes with enough variation to make fancy socks, too.

Both Kendra and Bridgid like this book. It has great instructions and helpful information on how to fit socks. It is a good reference book for all sock knitters.

This is one of my favorite sock books. I really am enchanted with the socks and the connection to myths. It is also a great book for trying out different knitting techniques - adding beads, lace in socks, fun cables.

All of us love this book for its innovations in sock construction and multiple heels and toes.

Have fun with socks!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Knitting Communities

Once upon a time there were no knitting communities. I was a lonely knitter. Yarn shops were few and far between and offered only yarn. Books and patterns were my resources and connection to other knitters. Slowly, gradually local yarn shops increased and offered classes and help with projects and techniques. Yarn companies developed more and more interesting yarns and designers multiplied in magazines and books. Then there was the Knitting Guild of America. Knitters were encouraged to start local groups.Thankfully and for inspiration, education and connection now knitting communities are everywhere. Here are just a few in Tucson:

Knit Night at Kiwi Knitting every Monday 7-9 pm. (Small fee for non-Kiwi Klub members:. Also there is Sock Group that meets from 1-3 pm on the first Saturday of the month. Most of the other shops in town also offer similar get togethers. Check those out too.

The Yarnivores meet at the Murphy-Wilmot Library every Thursday evening from 6-7, though participants are allowed to stay & work/knit/crochet longer if they'd like. It's all ages and everyone is welcome.

Old Pueblo Knitters offer casual knitting groups and all are welcome. See the website for more information.

Tucson Handweavers and Spinners Guild has a Knitting Study Group. See for information on this group.

And don't forget Ravelry, Knitter's Review, Knitty - great online communities for knitters.

Book Review: Knit One, Purl a Prayer: A Spirituality of Knitting by Peggy Rosenthal. This book offers gentle stories about knitting, spirituality and community. There are a some patterns here also. Two patterns are designed by Kiwi owner, Lynn Davis; one in collaboration with Marilyn Schubert, the Kiwi manager. The author's preface resonates with me and my sense of connection from knitting: "When I decided to learn to knit a few years ago, I thought I was learning so I could teach the craft to my granddaughter... Little did I know what an enrichment knitting would become for my own life; how it would help me in sickness and in health, in times of traquility and times of stress- how knitting would become a means of prayer."

And Another Knitting Community: Combat Knitters Patch People
In the Winter 2011/12 issue of Vogue Knitting, Daryl Brower profiles the Combat Knitters. Sparked by a transcontinental Ravelry connection between Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Almy, a family physician at the NATO Role 3 Multinational Medical Unit in Kandahar, Afghanistan, and Kathleen Marra in Arlington,Virginia, the group bonds over knitting through challenging times. Carrie McKie, owner of The Yarn Sellar in York, Maine, leads a KAL via Skype and has arranged materials donations. The patch, designed by Almy, tangibly unites the troops and their supporters. To raise funds for sweatpants, socks and pullovers for injured troops sent to Germany, the Yarn Sellar is selling the Combat Knitters patch. McKie works with a local vendor to inexpensively source the clothing—comfort gear, really. Each patch is $10, with $5 going towards the fund. See The Yarn Sellar’s website for details.
Submitted by Carolyn Webb

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Special Post: Kiwi's Sock Summit

Everyone is excited about Sock Summit Week at Kiwi Knitting ! Kick off will be a demo day this Saturday from noon to 3 p.m.. There will demonstrations about needles, stretchy cast ons for cuff down socks, gauge and the two-at-a-time cast-on.

Toes will be the topic on Tuesday, February 14th. You can attend just one hour long class or the two toe-up constructions or the two cuff-down, one of each or all four so you can really be on your toes!

Wednesday will be about heels. There will be four different ways of doing heels. Again you can chose just one class, mix and match or take all four.

There is a $5 fee for demo day and no need to register. The classes on Wednesday and Thursday are $10 each, registration is required and participants will need to bring needles and yarn ready for knitting the toes or heels. See the website: or call the shop (520-881-1319) to register or for more details.

About the photo: No time to gather a plethora of socks. I took this picture just now so I could include a "sock" picture. The socks are all ones I have knit save one done by a dear friend. My dogs thought that since I was on the floor it was playtime. Either that or they really love socks. Nevertheless they would not move and so here they are - Teddy and Romie - in serious need of a haircut. Teddy seems to like the center sock - the only one that was also handspun.